Amtrak Writer’s Residencies – Social media done right

Via @austinkleon (Link to his post with more detail).  Excellent job, @Amtrak. Amtrak writer’s residencies Here’s what went down: in his PEN Ten interview, @AlexanderChee was asked where he best liked to write:I still like a train best for this kind of thing. I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers. That’s it. Two sentences. And then this happened:

The big law of small numbers, Part III

Continuing on a theme here, let’s look at yet another big law of small numbers.  Last week we talked about how little changes can help you double sales, and how some customers might be worth 40 times more than others.  Today I want to focus on the huge multiplier effect a small number of customers can haveContinue reading “The big law of small numbers, Part III”

The big law of small numbers, Part II

I thought I’d continue on yesterday’s post with a little more about the way numbers can add up in unexpected ways. One of my favorite stories from business school comes by way of my Advertising professor.  Prior to joining the faculty, she had worked on the McDonald’s account at Leo Burnett.  She was relating a story about aContinue reading “The big law of small numbers, Part II”

The big law of small numbers

Just like spaceships powered by calculations on a waiter’s bill pad, I’m always amazed at how a credit card bill seemingly filled with lots of $20 and $30 charges (and the requisite grocery bill) can add up to such a staggering high total after only a page and a half.     Let’s call this theContinue reading “The big law of small numbers”

Never underestimate – or misinterpret – the exponential function

“Crime in the city doubles this decade” The human brain is a funny thing.  You toss a ball to a four year old, and he will do differential calculus in his head, without even knowing it, to reposition his body and hands to more or less line up with where the ball will be.  ButContinue reading “Never underestimate – or misinterpret – the exponential function”

It’s 2009, so why are we still advertising like it’s 1959?

In just over two weeks, tens of millions of us will gather in front of our TVs to watch the Superbowl and be presented with a slew of high-end ads, ads for which companies will have shelled out $3M for 30 seconds.   Afterwards, there will be the usual dialogue about which ads were hitsContinue reading “It’s 2009, so why are we still advertising like it’s 1959?”

Seth Godin: Sheepwalking

I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line. You’ve probably encountered someone who is sheepwalking. The TSA ‘screener’ who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any otherContinue reading “Seth Godin: Sheepwalking”

“Metaphor Deficient”

Here’s a phrase of the day:  “Metaphor deficient.” Time magazine ran a fascinating article the other week on record producer Rick Rubin.  After reading the article, he’s moved pretty far up my list of people I want to be when I grow up (more on this below), but one of the things that stood out for meContinue reading ““Metaphor Deficient””